Silver Ballage

I love becoming interested in something that guarantees my wife is less attracted to me. That is if such a thing is possible. 

Just a few of the phases I have gone through that fall into this category include collecting wrestling title belts, video game action figures, extravagant firearms & 70’s country music on vinyl.  Combining those passions with an ever extending waistline, and one should wonder how the poor woman didn’t take Iron Maiden’s advice that they offered up to us, so many years ago. With that in mind, the latest infatuation may take the taco, my friends.  By the way, does anyone have a taco? I’m starving over here.

My alcoholic friend Blackout Bruce was over at my house one day, sponging off my beers, pissing with the seat down and leaving purple whiskers all over my couch. During this harrowing experience, he showed me that his favorite band “Primus” had commissioned their very own pinball machine. “How incredibly lame” I responded accurately. He was very excited about it and jokingly, but in actuality quite seriously, asked me to buy him one of the machines for tidy some 8 thousand dollars. I told him to fuck off. He then belly laughed with his giant pink face and knocked over several lamps with his pool noodle fingers.  Seriously, his fingers have the same circumference as a tube of Pringles.  His knuckles are the size of kidneys, but I digress.

For some reason, the Primus Pinball machine stayed with me in a way none of the band’s music ever has.  It eventually reminded me of another afternoon I spent with the aforementioned Blackout Bruce.  We were at a local brewery for our friend Ted’s 73rd birthday party.  Ted had also just won a “Baby Leg Deadpool” look-a-like contest at the local Moose Lodge, so there was much reason for revelry.  Bruce & I had found a Jersey Jack pinball machine based around the Hobbit movies, which of course I did not see because I’m the man.

The pinball machine though was quite fantastic. It featured a brightly lit playing field, tons of quests, a beautiful video board & top notch sound.  I had never been impressed with older Pinball machines just as I’m not impressed with Blackout Bruce and his fingers that are the size of aerosol cans of tough actin Tinactin.  Seriously, if the guy plugged a hole in a dam with one of those things, he’d bring the river down on all of us.

Fast forward to a week ago. I found myself watching people play pinball machines on YouTube like a mouth breathing millennial shit head does with Fortnight.  How on earth could this happen? What brought me here?  I can’t pinpoint an exact moment. Rather, it seems to be a confluence of factors beginning with the events chronicled above and culminating with my discovery of this flow chart:

Look at that thing. I have received positive STD tests that are less complicated. Usually they just say, “Yes, you have them. ALL of them.” That flow chart depicts everything you have to do to “beat” a Wizard of Oz pinball machine.  LOOK AT ALL THAT. I had always assumed pinball machines were the device of the rube. Flashing lights, shiny balls, top soil level depth.  Maybe that once was true but no longer. 

These machines have backstories, original content, boss battles, side quests and best of all, it’s unfolding in front of you, in the real world.  The analog world.  Enough with the touch screens, headphones & Ritalin addicted crumb snatchers gradually dragging society into the plot of that unfortunate movie “Surrogates.” I want to do battle with Scarecrow and the Joker in a smoky dive bar, surrounded by dry drunks, low lives & suspected pederasts.  Give me an opportunity to slay the Wicked Witch of the West with some well placed silver ballage, that’s what I say.

Naturally, my poor wife is not only unhappy with this development; I assume she is signing up for a VIC card on Ashley Madison dot com.  These machines are 10,000 dollars, they weigh 900 pounds and require persons resembling “The Revers” in Blade 2 to service them if something breaks. And she knows. She just knows that one night after 16 Natural Lights & a vile of rohypnol I’m going to buy 3 of these things. Then they’re going to show up at the house & herald our marriages own personal Ragnarok.  Have your quarters ready, friendos because I’m going to be single and own several pinball machines. In the very near future.

Speaking of the end of times, Bruce’s fingers are just enormous. I do not know how he opens cans of soda.

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